ELITSERIEN & SPEEDWAYLIGAEN | ZMARZLIK LEADS LIONS CHARGE AS IVERSEN INSPIRES ESBJERG

Polish duo Bartosz Zmarzlik and Dominik Kubera piled up the points for Lejonen as they claimed a 49-41 lead over Dackarna in the Bauhaus Elitserien play-off semi-finals on Wednesday. Zmarzlik zoomed to 13 paid 14 points, while Kubera bagged a straight 14 for the Lions against the Malilla club, which stages the Kaeser FIM Speedway GP of Sweden - Malilla this Saturday. Former world No.2 Jaroslaw Hampel scored nine paid 13, with Kaeser FIM Swedish Speedway GP wild card Oliver Berntzon scoring five points. Former Australian champion Brady Kurtz was Dackarna’s top former on 12, with Nicolai Klindt adding eight paid nine and Maciej Janowski scoring eight. The return leg takes place in Malilla on Tuesday, with the other semi-final matches between Smederna and Rospiggarna being staged in Eskilstuna on Monday and Hallstavik on Tuesday. Meanwhile in Denmark, former Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen powered to 14 points for Esbjerg as they booked their place in the Speedwayligaen Super Final with victory in the play-off semi-final. Esbjerg won the four-team semi on 40 points, with Matias Nielsen notching nine and Jonas Jeppesen adding eight. Former Speedway GP winner Michael Jepsen Jensen led Slangerup to second place – racking up 13 of the team’s 34 points, while Andreas Lyager added 12. Grindsted took third place in the meeting on 26, with former Speedway GP rider Kenneth Bjerre leading their scorechart on 13. SGP2 rider Francis Gusts crashed out for Grindsted, but confirmed he suffered no broken bones as he undergoes additional hospital checks. Region Varde finished fourth as Finland’s Timo Lahti topped their scorechart on 12 with Nicolai Heiselberg impressing on 10. Esbjerg and Slangerup join table-topping Vojens club Sønderjylland Elite Speedway and second-placed Holsted in the Super Final at Vojens Speedway Center on September 21.

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MICHELSEN RULED OUT OF MALILLA ROUND AS HANSEN STEPS IN

European champion Mikkel Michelsen has withdrawn from the Kaeser FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla this Saturday after confirming the pain of a broken ankle has become “unbearable.” His fellow countryman and SGP substitute rider Mads Hansen has been drafted into the line-up for what will be his Speedway GP debut to replace Michelsen. With first and second substitutes Jack Holder and Dan Bewley called into the line-up ahead of the season due to Artem Laguta and Emil Sayfutdinov's suspension, third reserve Andzejs Lebedevs already replacing Anders Thomsen and fourth substitute Jakub Miskowiak unavailable to step in due to a hand injury, last year’s FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship runner-up and fifth reserve Hansen has been handed the biggest opportunity of his career so far. Michelsen stormed to the semi-finals of the FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens, sponsored by ECCO last Saturday, before finishing fourth behind Patryk Dudek, Bartosz Zmarzlik and Jason Doyle to end up with nine championship points. It was an impressive result under some very difficult circumstances, as he raced just eight days after breaking his ankle in the warm-up for his Polish club Lublin’s PGE Ekstraliga play-off semi-final, first leg at Torun on September 2. Michelsen continued racing in the PGE Ekstraliga play-off final, first leg in Gorzow on Sunday, scoring four paid five points. After undergoing checks on the injury on Monday, doctors have now advised Michelsen to sit out the Speedway GP round in Malilla. Posting on Instagram, Michelsen insisted he hopes to make his track return for Lublin’s home PGE Ekstraliga play-off final, second leg against Gorzow on September 25. He said: “Since the crash in Toruń, I’ve been battling the pain of a broken ankle. The medial malleolus is broken all the way through which is bad news, but we already knew that Friday night. “The good news is for the time being, despite having raced five meetings since the crash, the bones are still stable and sitting in the right position which means no surgery is needed. “Unfortunately the pain has become unbearable and the doctor has submitted me to bed rest and light rehabilitation which means no @SpeedwayGP in Målilla Saturday. “For how long I’ll be out, we don’t know yet but I will definitely do everything I can to be ready for the second final in Lublin. Thank you once again to Klinika Nieborowice and Doctor Krzysztof Onaczyszyn for the quick turnaround and professional approach as always.” We wish Mikkel a speedy recovery.

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WILD CARD JENSEN'S SPEEDWAY GP HOPE

Vojens wild card Rasmus Jensen hopes his heroics in the FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens, sponsored by ECCO might put him in the shop window for a 2023 wild card. Jensen made his Speedway GP debut at Denmark’s home of the shale sport and took the fight to the best riders in the world with a dogged display. Showing no regard for reputations, Jensen fought his way through to the semi-final on race 10 points – taking full advantage of starting at No.1 – a pick which offered him two rides from gate one. The Dackarna racer exited the meeting with 12 championship points – the best performance by a wild card so far this season. Having recently missed out on 2023 Speedway GP qualification by finishing sixth at the FIM GP Challenge in Glasgow, Jensen hopes his Vojens performance will put him in contention to compete in the series more regularly next year. He said: “I have had a decent season. The GP Challenge didn’t work out, but obviously I am hoping Discovery and the FIM look my way. “I felt like I had good speed for most of the night and especially in the semi after making such a bummer of a start. “I managed to pass Woffy and caught a little bit up to Leon, but my start was way too rookie in the semi-final. After the meeting, it was disappointment, but I will probably be pretty happy with the performance on reflection.”

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SGB PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF DATES SET

British Speedway bosses have confirmed they will launch the SGB Premiership play-offs on Monday, September 26 as Aussie Speedway GP trio Jason Doyle, Jack Holder and Max Fricke go for title glory. Doyle’s Ipswich side currently tops the table on 43 points, with Holder’s team Sheffield second on 37 and Fricke’s club Belle Vue third on 35. Wolverhampton are fourth on 34, while King’s Lynn in fifth place and basement club Peterborough are already certain of missing out on 21 and 13 respectively. The first-placed team is due to meet the side in fourth, with the second and third-placed clubs facing off in the other semi-final. Regardless of their opposition, Wolverhampton hosts its semi-final home leg on Monday, September 26, with Ipswich staging their semi-final on Thursday, September 29. Belle Vue’s home semi is Monday, October 3, while Sheffield’s meeting is on Thursday, October 6. As it stands, Ipswich would face Wolverhampton, with Sheffield and Belle Vue also battling it out. But the Witches and Wolves still have a match to complete each, while the Tigers and Aces have three to race apiece, meaning the line-up for the semi-finals is very much subject to change. The play-off fixtures will be determined by how the league table stands after matches on Thursday, September 22, but no action will take place in the Monday slot next week as a mark of respect for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral takes place at London’s Westminster Abbey that morning. In a statement on their official website, British Speedway confirmed racing will return on Tuesday after matches were postponed following Her Majesty’s death. The statement added: “Clubs will be marking the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with black armbands, periods of silence and the playing of the National Anthem. “Our thoughts remain with King Charles III and the Royal Family, and as a sport, we will stand with the nation in mourning at next Monday’s funeral.” For more details of the SGB Premiership fixtures and the latest league table, click here: https://britishspeedway.co.uk/homepage/

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EKSTRALIGA | ZMARZLIK STARS AS HE BIDS FAREWELL TO EDWARD JANCARZ STADIUM

Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik celebrated his final home match as a Gorzow rider by blazing to 16 paid 17 points as they took charge of the PGE Ekstraliga play-off final 51-39 against Lublin on Sunday. Zmarzlik stormed to victory in Saturday’s FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens, sponsored by ECCO – surging 20 points clear at the Speedway GP World Championship summit. He then took that form to the Edward Jancarz Stadium, dropping just one point from six races. Zmarzlik confirmed that he will be moving to a new Polish club in 2023, with final opponents Lublin rumoured to be his destination. But he’s determined to depart in a blaze of glory and hopes to sign off his stay at his boyhood club by bagging PGE Ekstraliga gold. Posting on Facebook, he wrote: “Well, we did quite well in the last match on Jancarz. We keep calm because there is still a rematch. Thank you for the amazing cheering that brought us to the victory. Operation 'The Last Dance' halfway done.” Zmarzlik was well supported by Slovak star Martin Vaculik, who bagged 14 paid 16 points. Former Polish champion Szymon Wozniak added 11 paid 13. Polish Championship runner-up Dominik Kubera starred for the visitors on 16 points, while SGP2 series leader Mateusz Cierniak scored eight paid 10. Mikkel Michelsen collected four paid five. In the bronze-medal play-off, Aussie star Jack Holder raced to 16 points for Torun as they edged the first leg 46-44 against Czestochowa at the Marian Rose Motoarena. The home side’s big guns fired as Pawel Przedpelski racked up 11 paid 12, while Robert Lambert raced to nine paid 13 and Patryk Dudek collected nine paid 10. Polish star Kacper Woryna was the Lions’ top performer on 11 paid 12, while World Under-21 champion Jakub Miskowiak tallied 10. Speedway GP duo Leon Madsen and Freddie Lindgren contributed five each to Czestochowa's total. For full details of the day’s results and scorers, click here: https://speedwayekstraliga.pl/terminarz-i-wyniki/pge-ekstraliga/

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